Slow week, after all. Most of the agenda is routine business, but there are three items I’d like to flag for everyone’s attention. One key item was held over from last week: a series of motions related to the purchase of the new police radio system. Councilmembers Holm and Clutterbuck tagged several separate related items — and I seem to have missed some interesting parts — or someone did, at least… I don’t remember seeing items a, c, and d. Under their new numbers:
#38: Purchase agreement with Motorola. (Initial cost is about $16 million; the maximum cost provided for is $123 million. Say what?)
#38a: Rental of 2550 N. Loop for the office space for COH and Motorola personnel who will be performing the installation. ($11k+/month, $1.45/sq.ft; Motorola to pay “a proportional cost.”
#38b: Legal services from Miller and Van Eaton, L.L.P.C. for legal services related to drafting interolocal agreements with Harris County and Centerpoint. Wait, we’ve selected our hardware, and NOW we’re going to talk about inter-interoperability with Centerpoint and Harris County? ($100,000)
#38c & d: Appropriations to pay for office furniture for the Radio Communications Division at 2550 N. Loop. ($217,000 from Police and IT Department funds. 12 offices, 2 conference rooms, 6 workstations, and a break room.)
Item #33 is a contract to pay for various emergency repairs to the sewer system. Expect more of these in future years if necessary physical upgrades and replacements continue to be deferred, because the city’s borrowing practices have made it vulnerable to the current market turmoil.
Item #36: Of interest to citizens who follow land use regulation in this city — A request to set a public hearing date of November 19, 2008 (but no mention of where), to review a report on land use regulations for the areas around the three city airports. The Airport Commission published its report on October 16, and forwarded its proposed regulations. These were presented to the Council Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure, & Aviation on the 23rd, and it was recommended that they be forwarded to the full council.
It would be nice if the regulations and maps had been included in the council backup, since this will be the public’s chance to comment. You know how it is: “The regulations were considered in a public hearing, and nobody objected.” Well, fortunately, blogHOUSTON is here — and the Aviation page with links to the various maps, proposed ordinance, and the regulations is here. However, you may have missed your chance … from what I can tell, this is only to review the report — if you wanted to give input to the regulations, you’d have to have attended the well publicized meeting of September 29th.
You do remember how well it was publicized, don’t you, citizen?